Giving rescued horses a second chance

Rehoming a horse or pony from a sanctuary like Redwings is a rewarding experience for the guardian owner, the horse, the charity and of course other horses out there in need of rescue. Here, we tell of some truly heart-warming friendships built between some of our 500-plus rehomed ponies and their new families, as well as our hopes for the future…

Hannah Dobler has had Redwings Ellie, a 14.2hh, 12-year-old Fjord pony, for five-and-a-half years. Ellie was one of over 100 horses rescued from horrific conditions at Spindle Farm, Amersham, in 2008, but has found a truly wonderful home with Hannah, where the pair are regularly seen out competing (and winning) together.

Hannah and her mother Helen have also recently taken on Redwings Little’Un – a 10hh, skewbald Shetland – as a companion pony, and are eager to highlight that you can have just as much fun out and about with a companion as a ridden pony.

Operations Manager Rachel Angell said: “Hannah and Helen are great ambassadors for Redwings. They have offered two of our ponies wonderful homes and are proof that you don’t necessarily need to ride to be able to enjoy owning a pony.”

Redwings promises to be open and honest about the behaviour of the horse so there are no hidden surprises. The charity even provides an expert behaviourist who is able to come out and assess any issues that may arise. Therefore with its extensive knowledge base and ongoing support, the charity hopes that their horses can find forever homes. One such horse who has well and truly found his forever home is Redwings Madac.

His guardian Jess Cook describes Madac as “my world”:

“I enjoy every day spent with Madac building a special bond. He has turned into my best friend. Madac is an amazing horse and I would never have been able to afford to buy a horse like him, so having the opportunity to rehome has been amazing and life-changing’.

Commenting on Jess and Madac’s friendship, Rachel Angell reflected: “Despite being 16.1hh, Madac is actually a complete gentle giant. He has the life that we believe every horse is entitled to no matter its background or worth.”

Redwings are urging all potential horse owners to consider rehoming from a charity before buying. Chief Executive Lynn Cutress said: “I speak from personal experience of rehoming a Redwings rescue horse when I say rehoming from a charity is a wonderful thing to do.

“To offer a once neglected pony the chance of a loving home for life, whether that be as a ridden horse or as a companion, is a real privilege, and knowing that at the same time you have freed up the space for another horse in need is a fantastic feeling”.

In 2016, Redwings rescued over 140 horses in need but the Sanctuary is operating at capacity, so the very best way for the charity to make room for more horses in need is to rehome.

Therefore, in 2017, Redwings will expand its rehoming operations into Warwickshire and surrounding counties with the development of a brand-new rehoming centre at their Oxhill site, including stabling facilities, schooling areas and an indoor arena.

If you’re unable to rehome a rescued horse but would still like to support Redwings’ work, you can, by joining their WildCrowd campaign to raise funds for the training of horses at their new Warwickshire rehoming centre. WildCrowd is an exciting new crowdfunding platform with animals at its heart, so it’s a perfect platform for Redwings, who aim to raise £1,750.

To find out more about rehoming a Redwings rescued horse, head to

To support the Redwings WildCrowd campaign, visit